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Five-year-old Jimmy Rova is the unwanted child of a mother who rejects him, and whose other children bully him. The one thing he can call his own is a pair of shoes, a present from the only person he feels has ever loved him. When they are cruelly taken away, Jimmy spirals down into a state of loneliness and terrible loss from which there seems no recovery. This triumphant story of a boy's struggle with early trauma and his remarkable journey into adulthood is based on William Horwood's own remarkable childhood in south-east England after the Second World War. Using all the skills that went into the creation of his modern classics, Horwood has written an inspiring story of a journey from a past too painful to imagine to the future every child deserves.